It’s difficult to believe, as I sit here at my table with a cup of coffee, looking out the window at a beautiful Colorado autumn morning, that the fate of our country so completely depends upon what happens today. Millions of people I’ve never met, millions of people they have never met, are deciding the course of our collective future.
So many dark, fearful, absurd things have been said these last two years – mostly by Donald Trump and the Republican Party which he has taken hostage – and so many frightening and violent things have been done – especially over the last several weeks, by aggrieved white men who have been stirred to action by the faux-angry rhetoric of Trump. In 2012, at the Republican National Convention, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said of the Republican Party, “The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” In Donald Trump’s Republican Party, that no longer seems to be a problem.
The results of today’s elections in cities and counties and states across the country will not just be about what kind of country we want America to be. It will, in fact and deed, be about what kind of country we think it has become, especially over the last two years.
Only the most innocent among us would believe that racism, xenophobia, and misogyny have, like small pox, been eradicated from America. Those behaviors, those fearful attitudes about life, have always been among us, but not in a long time have they gained such prominence, nor such overt encouragement from a president of the United States. Past occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have generally at least pretended to being president of all the people. Trump, who is so good at lying about everything else, doesn’t even make an effort to pretend. He’s quite happily and openly president of a minority of our fellow citizens. The question we face this morning, a question that will be answered tonight, is what the rest of us think about Trumpism and whether we want to continue living in its ever-deepening shadow.